Originally published by FierceHealthcare.

As a physician working at a busy hospital in New York City, my days were already frantic pre-pandemic.

Prior to March 2020, I knew we had an infection prevention (IP) team, but I had no understanding of the scope of their responsibilities. Once my hospital became part of the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, it was all hands on deck and I gained a greater sense of the role IP plays.

I wish I had had an earlier introduction to IP’s activities, as it surely would have been beneficial in my practice as a hospitalist. To overcome COVID-19 in NYC, the physician staff and IPs came together to tackle many obstacles.

A key learning point from the pandemic is that we need to integrate our teams more within the hospital walls to work collaboratively as one team. Below are six tips to maximize the critical relationship between clinicians and IPs for pandemic events and for the general working day.

While the COVID-19 crisis in the spring in New York was not something I would ever wish for, I hope we can learn from the experience and bring more interprofessional collaboration into our work in the future.

Integrating the clinical and IP teams is just one way to get this started.

Grace Farris, MD is a paid consultant for Clorox Healthcare. 

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